“Your Local Injury Lawyers Since 1985”


A blue personal injury law book on a desk with a pen, eyeglasses, and gavel

Types Of Damages In Personal Injury Cases

By: Fred Moore | Jun 4, 2024

Being hurt or losing a loved one in an accident can be devastating. If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At Moore Law Firm, we’ve helped more than 15,000 personal injury clients in Mobile, AL, and surrounding areas pursue compensation for their damages and losses. We can help you understand the different types of personal injury damages and how they may apply to your case.

Compensatory Damages for Personal Injury

Compensatory damages are intended to make an injured victim whole by providing monetary payment for the losses suffered as a result of their injuries. There are two types of compensatory damages: special damages and general damages.

What are Special Damages?

Special damages are economic losses that can be quantified, such as:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future wage loss
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Other financial losses directly related to an accident or injury

Although putting a monetary value on these types of personal injury damages may seem straightforward, accurate calculation of future medical costs and other expenses is critical, especially if someone has suffered a catastrophic injury.

For example, if someone suffers a traumatic brain injury that requires lifelong medical care and leaves them unable to work, estimating the cost of future treatment and loss of income can be tricky. Personal injury lawyers know how to determine these costs to ensure all future expenses are covered in any settlement or award you may receive.

What are General Damages?

Also known as non-economic damages, general personal injury damages are intended to compensate a victim for subjective, intangible losses such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Each case is unique, and there is no set formula for determining general damages. A Mobile personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and determine which types of non-economic personal injury damages may be appropriate.

Understanding Punitive Damages

If a defendant’s egregious or intentionally malicious behavior caused injury or harm to another, the injured party may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish negligent parties for their actions and deter them and others from committing similar wrongful acts.

Punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury cases. However, punitive damages are the only type of damages available in wrongful death lawsuits in Alabama. Laws surrounding punitive damages and wrongful death are complex. Hiring a Mobile personal injury attorney who’s well-versed in the nuances of Alabama law gives you the best chance for recovering all the damages you may be entitled to receive.

All types of personal injury damages must be proven. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to collect relevant evidence, create compelling arguments, and put them all together to build a solid case.

Proving Personal Injury Damages

Special damages can usually be proven with documentation such as medical bills, receipts for injury-related expenses, pay stubs or employment records, and invoices for the repair or replacement of property. A personal injury attorney may consult with experts such as medical and financial professionals to determine the value of future medical costs, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity.

Proving non-economic damages is often more challenging. Testimony from medical professionals, mental health experts, and witnesses who have seen how an injury has impacted someone’s life can help establish the extent of a victim’s pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other general damages.

There must be evidence of malice, deceit, or wantonness for a plaintiff to obtain punitive damages. This may be proven by presenting evidence of prior similar conduct by the defendant or documentation of willful disregard for safety on the part of a company or manufacturer. Eyewitness testimony, expert opinions, and other evidence can also support actions involving egregious conduct.

For example, if a trucking company knew that a tractor-trailer’s brakes weren’t working properly but released it onto the road anyway, they could be liable for compensatory damages and punitive damages if someone is injured or killed in a trucking accident.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer in Mobile Can Help

Personal injury victims are often unsure of which types of damages they may be able to recover. An accident attorney can evaluate your case and advise you on all the personal injury damages that may be available to you.

A personal injury lawyer can protect your rights, investigate the circumstances surrounding your claim, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. If a reasonable settlement can’t be reached, they can take your case to trial. Hiring an attorney gives you the best chance of recovering the maximum amount of personal injury damages that you may be entitled to receive.

Contact A Personal Injury Attorney in Mobile, AL

Moore Law Firm has been dedicated to serving personal injury victims in the Mobile, AL area for 40 years. We provide the compassionate legal support you need and help you understand which types of personal injury damages you may be entitled to after an accident. To schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Alabama, call us at 251-445-7602, use the convenient chat feature on our website, or contact us today.